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10th ed. wine books, some fun and some good drinking
July 20, 2005

In this Issue

  • James Halliday 2006
  • Another wine book in the offing
  • The latest news about the Vinodiversity site
  • Some Bargains at WMC

James Halliday beats the calendar by 157 days!

The most comprehensive and best selling wine guide in Australia is undoubtably James Halliday's Annual Wine Companion. The 2006 edition is about to hit the streets but you can get your copy mailed to you and be a step ahead of the rest

The pre-publicity says that there will be 400 new wineries with entries in the 2006 edition. The previous few editions aslo give an indication of how many new wineries are popping up. In the 2005 edtion there were 377, in 2004 there were 240, and in 2003 188 new wineries appeared. So, over a four year period there are about 1200 new Australian wineries in production. Wow!

The increased number of wineries does not mean that the area of vines planted or the volume produced has increased in the same proportion. Many of the new wineries are the result of grape growers diverting part or all of their grapes from sales to large wineries to their own processing and marketing.

This growth has certainly added to the diversity of brands available to consumers of Australian wines but has it added to the varietal diversity as well. In Halliday's 2005 guide about half of the 'new wineries were producing wine from alternative varieties.

The 2006 Wine Companion will certianly contain some excellent reading. If you can't wait to get your copy (like me!) you can order it online at a discount to the reccommended price and get it mailed out as soon as it is available.

An even more interesting publication in the offing!

Well, I'm paddling my own canoe here. I have built up a great big database of alternative wine grape varieties and the producers who are using them in Australia. So to make it accessible I've been busy making it into a book! Not just any book but a book called Emerging Varietal Wines of Australia. In my kinder moments I call it EVWA.

EVWA will contain info on about 100 winegrape vareities, (not chardonnay or cabernet thank you!) about 900 Australian producers and about 50 wine regions. So you can have a nice little paperback guide to take on your wine trip, or you can check out the background of a variety without having to refer to your lappod or i-pilot or your palmtop or whatever gadget they think of next. (There may be an electronic version of EVWA for the papyrus challenged)

Of course as a subscriber to Vinodiversity you will be hearing plenty more about it before its release, hopefully by All Saints Day. But I thought I'd let you know about it now. Watch this space.

What's new on the Website.

I have been pushing the envelope a bit as part of the effort to round out the database prior to the transfer to EVWA. I have come up with a few new varieties. For example Corvina, Fiano, Rondinella, Rubienne, Moschata paradisa, and an unnamed variety called 1893. I have a list of what varieties I have covered here. If I have missed something please let me know.

There is a link to a ripping yarn about Moschata paradiso, two popes, a dog and assorted other religous figures on the Vinodiversity blog

After some procrastination I have finally written a review of John Gladstones wonderful book Viticulture and Environment. This is a must read for anyone who wants to know just why some wines, some regions, and some vintages are better than others.

A new vintage report has been sent by Ross Gehrig of John Gehrig's wines at Oxley in the King Valley. He gives us the inside info on how to make great wines with Chenin blanc, Durif and Gamay. You can check out the vintage 2005 reports from around the country here.

Some Bargains at WMC

There are always some bargains from our friends at the Winemakers Choice Shop. You can get a magnum of WA Cabernet Shiraz if you buy a dozen from the weekly web specials. Or at the moment there is a special promotion on organic wines on the email specials board. So check them out you are sure to find something interesting, and at a good price!

The Varietal Table

If you haven't bought a copy yet, what are you waiting for?

I'd love to hear from you.

Cheers til next month.


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